In July, Ohio Governor John R. Kasich signed a pro-life state budget into law that funds pregnancy centers and gives women abortion alternatives. The legislation, House Bill 64, could also close some of the state’s abortion facilities.
However, now WVXU News reports that Planned Parenthood is suing the state Department of Health because they believe it will close down their last two clinics that perform abortions. Planned Parenthood’s attorney, Jennifer Branch, says the law will require the Health Department to cancel their licenses immediately “if they cannot get a written transfer agreement with a local hospital or a variance from the director of the Department of Health. And it’s that automatic suspension of their licenses that will close them down and put them out of business without any due process.”
Previously, Planned Parenthood’s Cincinnati facility did have a variance but it expired and the state has been in no rush to renew it. Additionally, Branch said they used to have a transfer agreement with UC Medical Center but a portion of the 2013 budget bill forced the hospital to end their agreement. Planned Parenthood hopes the hearing will be scheduled before the law takes effect at the end of the month.
The Communication Director of Ohio Right to Life, Katherine Franklin, said the following about the lawsuit:
“Planned Parenthood and Haskell’s clinic are suing over the recent Ohio budget requirement that forces the Ohio Department of Health to review variance applications within 60 days of receipt. Really, this is a regulation of the department of health—not abortion facilities. Furthermore, it applies to how the department reviews any surgical facility’s application. Of the hundreds of ambulatory surgical facilities in Ohio, only abortion facilities seem to have a problem with the Ohio Department of Health being given deadlines to review applications. This restriction no more bars access to hip replacements than it does abortion. Yet again, NARAL and the abortion industry would rather put their agenda and their business interests ahead of reasonable health and safety standards that safeguard Ohio’s women.
The names on this lawsuit alone tell you that this is nothing more than a desperate power grab by a dwindling industry that exists on the fringe of polite society: Planned Parenthood and Martin Haskell—an abortion empire that is selling babies piece by piece and the self-described “poster child” of partial-birth abortion.
In a press release, NARAL Pro-Choice America lamented over the new law and said they supported the lawsuit. Their Executive Director, Kellie Copeland, said, “It is wrong for Governor Kasich to abuse his regulatory authority to close abortion clinics without medical justification. Kasich’s policies are creating barriers for women to access the medical care they need, and may force some women to resort to drastic measures. His policies endanger women’s health and we hope the courts will put a stop to them.”
She added, “The regulatory abuses challenged in this lawsuit are all medically-unnecessary. Transfer agreements and license application restrictions do not improve patient care in any way. In fact, the abortion restrictions signed by Gov. Kasich make it harder for women to access safe care from a doctor. They are bad policies and bad politics.
As LifeNews previously reported, Gov. Kasich has a strong pro-life record and recently announced that he is running for President of the United States. The Public Relations Manager for Ohio Right to Life, Katie McCann, said that their governor has been a champion for life in the state. She said, “We are endlessly grateful for Governor Kasich’s compassion for women and their children. His administration is doing its job by holding these mills accountable to basic health and safety standards.
Also, a spokesperson for Gov. Kasich said in press release that he supports investigating Planned Parenthood’s abortion practices. The statement was a response to the undercover video showing Planned Parenthood’s Medical Director, Dr. Deborah Nucatola, admitting to selling aborted babies’ body parts while munching on her lunch salad. Since then, The Center for Medical Progress has released eight more videos exposing the abortion company’s complete disregard for human life.
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The Governor’s spokesperson said, “The governor is a strong, consistent and committed believer in the sanctity of human life and finds this news and practice abhorrent. This is illegal under both Ohio and federal laws and anyone who violates those laws should be prosecuted to the fullest extent possible, and credible evidence of a possible violation should be fully investigated.”